Small, affordable crossovers are popular around the world. They are so popular that Hyundai is expanding its lineup in South Africa with the new three-row Grand Creta. The seven-seat compact crossover rides on the same, albeit tweaked, platform that underpins several Hyundai and Kia models, including the Venue that's available in the US. However, Hyundai only offers the crossover here as a two-row model.
The tweaked K2 platform underpinning the Grand Creta increases the crossover's length and wheelbase. That extra room pays dividends, allowing Hyundai to add two extra seats behind the second row. The Grand Creta offers 6.3 cubic feet (180 cubic liters) of cargo space behind the third row, which grows to a gargantuan 58.9 cubic feet (1,670 cubic liters) with all the seats down.
Gallery: Hyundai Grand Creta
Powering the crossover is a naturally aspirated 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 156 horsepower (117 kilowatts) and 140 pound-feet (191 Newton-meters) of torque. The car also has an available 1.5-liter four-cylinder turbodiesel, making 113 hp (85 kW) and 184 lb-ft (250 Nm) of torque. The entry-level model arrives with a six-speed manual, but a six-speed auto is also available.
Hyundai will offer the Grand Creta in the country in one of two trims: Executive and Elite. Both are well-appointed, with a good list of standard kit. Hyundai packs the Executive with wireless phone charging, an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system, a rearview camera, and Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity. On the outside, it receives LED headlights and 17-inch rims.
The Elite receives larger, 18-inch wheels, push-button start, a panoramic sunroof, parking sensors, and more. However, the neatest features are the fold-down trays for the second-row passengers. The Grand Greta Elite also sports a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster and a powered driver's seat.
The crossover has a MacPherson strut suspension setup in the front paired with a coupled torsion beam axle at the back. Another area the Elite trim benefits is with its drive modes. There are five: Snow, Mud, Sand, Eco, Sport, and Normal.
The introduction of the Hyundai Grand Creta in South Africa is a reminder that crossovers aren't just popular here in the US, with many markets getting their own versions and variants to satisfy demanding consumers. While automakers like making derivatives of their vehicles to increase sales, we're doubtful a three-row venue is around the corner for US consumers.